It was all a daze.
A blur of his tears and my tears.
His screams and my screams.
And so many. So, so, so many sleepless nights.
By sleepless nights I truly do mean sleepless nights.
Where the deep darkness of the early hours merge into dawn too quickly.
Where you think you've cried all of your tears until you see the rays of sun and they silently start streaming down your face.
When you realise you have to start it all again.
Somehow muster the energy and the courage and the smile to get through another day.
Another day heavy with guilt and heavy with grief.
But robbed of any acceptance to share this.
Living another day in a society which has stripped you of your right to cry in public.
Your right to stumble with a body that has literally been torn at the seams.
Your right to look on the outside as you feel on the inside.
They want every limb in place, every hair tucked away.
Every drop of evidence, of the most inexplicable pain you've felt, washed away.
Down the shower drain with the blood and the debris.
Hide your bruises. Stand up tall. Be proud of the title that has come with your pain.
For you are expected to feel pure gratitude. Joy. Bliss. Ecstasy. Life-changing happiness.
Which you do. But that is not all you feel. You also feel weak and scared.
And unworthy. And unloveable. And frightened out of your mind.
And indescribable exhaustion.
You think there must be something wrong with you.
This isn't how it should feel.
And reality has become blurry. Hazy.
You are struggling to differentiate truth from lies.
Separate the real from the facade you have created.
You blink and look up to find your reflection is a stranger.
You have lost who you were before he arrived.
And you are staggering through a mess of an identity for who you are now.
You hate yourself and you hate this life.
You hate that noone told you it would be like this.
You hate seeing people smiling.
And then you plaster an identical one all over your aching face.
Not once do you doubt your love for him though.
Your love for him is the mast that your blistered hands cling to.
Your nails are chewed and red and raw.
Your fingerprints are smooth. They carry no stories any longer.
No signs of a life lived before now.
Your knuckles are fractured. They've been broken more than once.
But your hands will never, in a million years, release their grip on your love for him.
That love for him.
He, who has heard your heart beating from within you.
He, who has sat through every single moment of your purging.
He, who fought just as hard as you did to begin this journey together.
He, who has come into this world with an unending trust in you.
He, who knows your voice better than all others.
He, who chose you.
He, who needs you just as much as you need him.
He, who is the most detailed symbol of purity.
He, who has gifted you the lesson of love.
So you muster the energy and the courage and the smile for just one more day at a time.
And the days turn into weeks.
Which turn into months.
Which turn into years.
Then at some point you can look at how that tiny soul, that shared your darkest days, has become an absolute treasure of a human.
This is the moment you make sure to be proud of yourself, Mama.
For you are a saint.
So selfessly giving your body and your heart and your mind.
And so many parts of yourself to your people.
Stand high with strength that has not come easily.
With bruises still. That tell the story of becoming a Mother.